Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation

48 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2005 Last revised: 10 Sep 2010

See all articles by Jörn-Steffen Pischke

Jörn-Steffen Pischke

London School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Till von Wachter

Columbia Business School - Economics Department; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

We estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings using the changes in compulsory schooling laws for secondary schools in West German states during the period from 1948 to 1970. While our research design is very similar to studies for various other countries, we find very different estimates of the returns. Most estimates in the literature indicate returns in the range of 10 to 15 percent. We find no return to compulsory schooling in Germany in terms of higher wages. We investigate whether this is due to labor market institutions or the existence of the apprenticeship training system in Germany, but find no evidence for these explanations. We conjecture that the result might be due to the fact that the basic skills most relevant for the labor market are learned earlier in Germany than in other countries.

Suggested Citation

Pischke, Jörn-Steffen (Steve) and von Wachter, Till, Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation (June 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11414. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=745807

Jörn-Steffen (Steve) Pischke (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
+44 207 955 6509 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7595 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Till Von Wachter

Columbia Business School - Economics Department ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
884
PlumX Metrics